Review #83: ‘Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery’ by Tim Earley

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  • COLDFRONT RATING: five
  • PUBLISHED BY: Horse Less Press, 2014
  • REVIEW BY: Timothy Liu

The recycled title as wink to the lunatic peasant debut by John Clare in 1820 seems fitting beyond mere irony to a land of outlier proses stripped of conventional expectations: “Thwarted fleen in millymask. druck flylysped interlit. they fen and fife their torts in tilture to the ampulance. prime storm distaff.” Such densities give way to rhetorical scaffoldings for blithe narratives verging on what’s left of late-Romantic pastoral traditions: “I am ready to have some babies. I am ready to be a bellicose producer and have some babies and toss them into the air for years until the Lord strikes them with the gift of speech and their tales turn the mountain’s insides out into the meat I eat for breakfast. Until then I will watch my squash grow and pine for the cleft of some long lost beauty’s historical chin. The daily path is riddled with deceits, dresses, yellow hems. We were merry once. We hung curtains.” Where the wilderness is ever encroaching on domestic spheres, an erotic undercurrent threatens to unsettle all that has come before. Are you all in for the long ride? Witness, my dear Readers, how Earley’s magisterial art can unspool a sentence as lusciously gargantuan as this: “A heraldic skop lurched by, his aegis fee pillared with barnacles, opportuned in his gut smell and eye splurth and remedied of all sense since the historific degradations of the last recorded striking of the pelfry from the genius prolanx, the vestigia of which now lay gathering croup in curio shops along the immigrant-infested edge of town, and he recorded this baleotrope as a finned rheum of mercy, insisted upon it as a finned rheum of mercy, to impress not only the abutments of vermouth slathering her lovely mouth but also and perhaps most engorged and quincely the vedris buried in the night though there was no way to filch himself into believing his own words (believe me dear diary when I write that I am not a lecherous man and that I have for women thanks only a great loping enthusiasm which all of wild nature sweetly avers though I am in love with the boatswain’s daughter and the boatswain and all the things he does not say), and this really was the only thing that kept him from pouring his larchings over the portside ballasts and aggrieving everlasting cartoonal greatness.”

Disclosures: Stuffing these bon-bon mots into your famished craw will induce heart failure of massive proportions. Best to ration out such richness, allowing a few at a time to sumptuously melt over that gift of tongues you never knew you had.

Favorites: Spring placed its finger on my spine . . . ; I flew my imaginary girlfriend Velvetine Leopoldis in from Louisville for the weekend . . . ; Wheedie smashed his guitar . . . ; The poet proclaims that he has never seen this many speculums . . . ; Age comes on like a tree prolapsed from the anus of its maker . . . ; The poppy has deliquesced . . . ; Lasciviousness, like the newly minted ganglia of a swirl of starlings . . . ; The normal reminders of persecution . . . ; I’m pretty sure the animals in that forest . . . ; cruel axe barmaided and spelt into an orgam of misplacement . . . ; I had no rivers or silver daggers inside of me . . . ; I have horqued up some ideas . . . ; No more sun for schoolgirls or green-cauled hills . . . .

Read Earley at Horse Less Press.